Generational rift strains Parkmerced community
October 13, 2008 6:54 PM
As more students inhabit the near-to-campus Parkmerced neighborhood, different lifestyles create divisions between older and younger residents, officials at the District 7 supervisor’s office and older residents said.
Six-year Parkmerced resident, Bella Sloutsky, said student noise keeps her up some nights.
“[SF State students] are polite, but at nighttime they are too noisy. Sometimes it’s impossible to sleep,” the 74 year-old said. “They have to know that old people need to rest...To party on Friday is okay, but not until 2 a.m.”
Richard Luu, an SF State student and one-year Parkmerced resident, said after 9 p.m., his next door neighbors sometimes complain about his music being too loud.
“I haven’t seen them complain to Parkmerced [offices],” he said.
Olivia Scanlon, from the office of Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, said she has received phone calls from Parkmerced residents complaining about SF State students. However, she says the office doesn’t see the complaints as a serious problem nor an issue the office needs to address.
Daniel Phillips, president of the Parkmerced Residents Organization, said he doesn’t believe SF State students are responsible for vandalism in the neighborhood.
“If there is a problem, students are blamed without proof,” Phillips said. “Many times a lot of disgusting things happen and it is obvious that it had nothing to do with them.”
Phillips said the lack of parking in the Parkmerced area can be one reason residents complain about SF State students. Phillips said he thinks residents may get frustrated with the significant decrease in parking spots when school is in session.
“Those are issues that we, as a community, need to address,” Phillips said.
SF State President Robert Corrigan and Philippe Cumia, associate director of university housing at SF State, said more first-time students are coming from Southern California and the university is becoming a school that caters even more to young adults and students coming straight out of high school.
Phillips said students coming straight out of high school might have an impact on the Parkmerced community because of their maturity level, which may or may not increase residents’ complaints. He also said that one way to address any possible future problems caused by students is to encourage them to become more involved with the residential community.
Phillips suggested that one easy way to help change the mentality of senior residents toward freshman students might be to simply have them interact more with their neighbors and to create a friendly and community-oriented relationship.
Despite complaints in the form of blog entries and calls to the district supervisor, some of the older residents say they enjoy sharing space with the students.
Benita Siegel said she has lived in Parkmerced for 38 years. The 84-year-old likes to have SF State students as neighbors because, she said, she has reached an age in which she doesn’t normally have a lot of young people around.
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